In FAIR’s Immigration Priorities for the 2017 Presidential Transition, the group called upon the incoming Trump administration to “immediately revoke the orders authorizing the DACA, DACA+ and DAPA.” After DACA's rescission, FAIR spent millions of dollars torpedoing bipartisan DACA legislation through lobbying efforts, paid media, and misleading communications targeting family-based immigration.
What is FAIR and what do they do?
- Tanton founded FAIR in 1979 in Washington, D.C.
- The group advocates for harsh anti-immigrant policies across the country, including encouraging mass roundups of the undocumented, radical cuts to overall legal immigration numbers, ending birthright citizenship, enacting religious tests on would-be immigrants and refugees, and preventing the entry of individuals who do not meet their racial preference.
- FAIR’s work advances deeply racist legislation that maligns communities of color, both immigrant and native-born and its self-described mission is to “reduce overall immigration… [including] legal immigration levels from well over one million presently to 300,000 a year… to manage growth, address environmental concerns.”
- FAIR’s executive director Bob Dane recently refused to disavow Tanton’s infamous quote on maintaining a “European-American majority.” Dane said, “For many, the question of whether a country loses its majority status is a fair question. France, for example, is “probably wondering whether it is still going to be a French country” with all the people crossing the border.
- FAIR President Dan Stein, who recently told the New York Times that Americans would “be perfectly fine if we didn’t have another immigrant for 50 years,” shares Tanton’s extreme views on immigration:
- In a statement marking the 50th anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1965, Stein lamented the increase of America’s immigrant population: “Mass immigration is radically transforming our nation without any identifiable public interest that is being served…No one is questioning the potentially catastrophic consequences of a policy under which half the people we admit require public assistance to get by.”
- In an op-ed for the Daily Caller in March 2016, Stein advocated for “attrition through enforcement,” a policy that has the goal of making life so difficult for undocumented immigrants that they are forced to leave. Stein said, “we should deport illegal aliens when we catch them…Enforcing laws isn’t cheap, but it is the cost of not enforcing our immigration laws that is prohibitively expensive. And, no, our economy would not collapse. It would adjust to the absence of millions of illegal workers just as it adjusted to their large-scale presence.”
- On CNN, Stein praised President Trump’s executive orders on immigration, saying that the recent deportations were an effort to “reclaim our schools, our hospitals, and our communities once again for the American people.”
- On then-candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, Stein said, “as a practical matter …. unless somebody’s got a better idea, sounds like it makes pretty good sense to us.”
- Stein claimed that late Senator Ted Kennedy’s immigration policies were: “a great way to retaliate against Anglo-Saxon dominance and hubris, and the immigration laws from the 1920s were just this symbol of that, and it’s a form of revengism, or revenge…”
- Stein supports ending birthright citizenship: “[the current] erroneous interpretation of the 14th Amendment is defeating the operation of U.S. immigration controls.”
- Stein shares Tanton’s interest in eugenics and once posed the idea of prioritizing reproduction based on IQ score: “Should we be subsidizing people with low IQs to have as many children as possible, and not subsidizing those with high ones?”
- Stein has consistently derided immigrants as un-American: “Immigrants don’t come all church-loving, freedom-loving, God-fearing,” Stein told The Wall Street Journal. “Many of them hate America; hate everything that the United States stands for. Talk to some of these Central Americans.”
- Since its founding, FAIR has pushed for measures that go beyond reducing immigration: many FAIR officials have advocated for extreme population control measures, and have even gone as far as pushing for forced sterilization by designing, promoting and distributing “off-label permanent birth control” for women. Tanton, along with FAIR board members Sally Epstein and Donald Collins, contributed funds to the now-defunct Institute for Development Training (IDF), which developed the Quinacrine sterilization method.
How has FAIR Attacked DACA?
- FAIR lobbied to defeat legislation favorable to immigrants, including DACA recipients, as Republican strategist Liz Mair detailed in an op-ed for Red State. Lobbying disclosures submitted by FAIR indicate that the nativist group spent thousands of dollars in an effort to derail a bill that would have protected DACA recipients from DHS efforts to use their personal information as a “deportation list.”
- Following the rescission of DACA, FAIR has driven calls to the offices of House Republicans willing to find a permanent solution for immigrant youth.
- Former FAIR executive director Julie Kirchner left the group in 2015 to join the Trump campaign and has since been appointed the position of USCIS Ombudsman, where she holds considerable power and influence over the Administration’s immigration policy.
- Since 2001, FAIR has spent over $3.5M in lobbying dollars attacking immigrants including immigrant youth. From 2013 to April 2018, FAIR and NumbersUSA spent more than $8M on paid advertising attacking all immigration.
- FAIR President Dan Stein also serves on the board of IRLI, which helped initiate and draft Crane v. Napolitano, the unsuccessful legal challenge that pitted several ICE agents against DACA and set the stage for United States v. Texas.
- FAIR has repeatedly lashed out at President Trump for having kept DACA in place, calling it “an illegal executive overreach.”